Pirates releasing Miguel Andújar confirms Yankees’ countless missteps

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 03: Miguel Andujar #26 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action during the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park on October 3, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 03: Miguel Andujar #26 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action during the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park on October 3, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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First and foremost, we have bad news for all the New York Yankees haters out there. It’s official: Miguel Andújar is no longer employed by an MLB team. Neither is Clint Frazier. So all the hilarious, original Andújar-Frazier trade jokes are dead. We’re sorry to do a disservice to comedy like this.

On Friday, the Pirates announced they designated Andújar for assignment. They’ll have seven days to find a trade partner (good luck) or he’ll be released. The Yankees DFA’ed Andújar in September and the Pirates claimed him, which was ironic because they rejected trade offers that included him in the Gerrit Cole talks a few years back.

Now, the Pirates ditched him to make room for Andrew McCutchen on the 40-man roster. And if Andújar isn’t going to be part of Pittsburgh’s plans, then it’s unclear if another MLB team will take a chance on him given how many holes the Pirates roster has.

That makes you wonder why the Yankees held onto him for so long due to reasons on both ends of the spectrum.

Back in 2018 and 2019, they didn’t want to trade him because they felt he was too valuable of an asset (if the Nolan Arenado trade rumors serve your memory correctly). Then, from 2020-2022, they refused to move him despite the fact he still had some value. Not much at all, but some! Better than a DFA after he had fully depreciated beneath a serviceable bench player.

Pirates releasing Miguel Andújar magnifies Yankees’ missteps

Andújar, who was a below-average defender at third base (his natural position), was, for inexplicable reasons, transitioned to an outfield role from 2020-2022 and he was just as underwhelming. At one point, the Yankees had Andújar and Frazier in the corner outfield spots. What a nightmare. Sorry for even reminding you of that.

Even worse is the fact the Yankees never really offered him consistent enough playing time to allow his bat to get into a rhythm. But they were so bullish on his 2018 rookie campaign! What happened?! They let Gio Urshela take his job, refused to trade him, moved his position, and didn’t give him regular, everyday reps.

Urshela taking his job was perfectly reasonable. Not giving him the necessary time on the field to get back in a groove also made some sense because the 2020-2022 rosters had better talent. But not trading him? For FOUR years?! And letting his value wither away to nothing? We’ll never understand.

The Yankees have had themselves a great offseason. They kept Aaron Judge. They brought in Carlos Rodón and Tommy Kahnle. But time and time again, we’re reminded of the organization’s most confounding gaffes even if it seems like we’re well beyond it all.

Can’t wait to see how the Frankie Montas trade ends up being a colossal L in a few months while we’re all enjoying a successful Yankees campaign.